MINSK, 24 September (BelTA) – The policy of sanctions towards Belarus' potash industry can lead, among other things, to poorer yields and higher food prices around the world, Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said addressing the UN Food Systems Summit in New York, BelTA has learned.
The foreign minister emphasized that Belarus has always made a significant contribution to ensuring global food security. The country exports agricultural products and foodstuffs to more than 100 countries worldwide.
“However, the thoughtless sanctions imposed by Western countries on Belarus threaten global food security. Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, these sanctions hold back global development and hamper the fight against hunger around the world. Belarusian potash fertilizers account for 20% of the global market; thus, the withdrawal of these fertilizers from the market will lead to a significant drop in agricultural yields. The shortage of potash fertilizers in the world will certainly push fertilizer prices up, which will result in food price hikes. The non-admission of Belarusian potash fertilizers to the European market will also negatively affect the EU agricultural sector,” Vladimir Makei said.
In the spirit of the Declaration of the World Summit on Food Security, Belarus calls for dropping sanctions, as they run afoul of international commitments, including commitments as part of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and are inconsistent with the provisions of the UN Charter and the UN General Assembly resolutions on unilateral coercive measures. “With almost two billion people in the world undernourished, it is unacceptable to use food and linking chains as an instrument of political pressure and economic blackmail,” the Belarusian foreign minister stressed.
Vladimir Makei noted that in order to implement the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development it is vitally important to ensure food security, eliminate hunger, promote sustainable development of agriculture and increase its production capacity.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn have exacerbated hunger, including in middle-income countries. Dormant conflicts in various parts of the world and the disastrous aftermath of the climate change are aggravating the food crisis and increasing the vulnerability of national food systems, which undermines efforts to achieve one of the main priorities of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Vladimir Makei said.
According to the minister, Belarus fully ensures national food security. The country is ranked 23rd in the world in the Global Food Security Index.
Vladimir Makei went on saying that Belarus adopted the State Agribusiness Program for 2021-2025 that provides for promotion of environmentally friendly agriculture, with a focus on organic farming. In 2018 Belarus adopted a law on the production and processing of organic products; agencies responsible for certification of organic products and manufacturing processes were set up. “This ensures adequate nutrition and a healthy lifestyle of the country's population,” he said.
The minister confirmed that despite the existing challenges and risks, Belarus intends to uphold national achievements under the Sustainable Development Goals program in terms of eliminating hunger and to fulfill the Sustainable Development Agenda in time.